Xanax (Alprazolam)

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Xanax is one of the most popular brands that contain alprazolam, which is a prescription drug used to treat several psychological issues, most commonly anxiety disorders, especially panic disorders. But they also prescribe it for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and depression. Being a Schedule IV controlled substance,Xanax is made by Pfizer and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981. This medication belongs to a group of drugs called ‘benzodiazepines’,the same family that includes diazepam (Valium), clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), flurazepam (Dalmane). This groupgenerally act on the brain and nerves,reducing the ‘abnormal excitement’in the brain, typically seen in anxietyresulting in a calmative effect.

When one takes a Xanax it improves the activity of a natural chemical in the body called ‘GABA’ causing a short lived sedative, anxiolytic (busts anxiety) and amnestic (short term memory loss) effect. Being the single most prescribed psychiatric medication in the USA,Xanax has shown remarkable results in combatting anxiety disorders as evident by a number of trials.

Xanax is available in a number of forms including tablets, a liquid, disintegrating tablets, and extended-release tablets. The extended-release alprazolam (XR) is only used to treat panic disorders.

How To Take

Xanax is a prescription drug and you should take it exactly as prescribed by the doctor. The dosage you need will depend on which condition youhave (which anxiety disorder?), your age andyour physical status making it necessary to consult a healthcare practitioner without self-treating. The ordinary Xanax tablets are available in strengths of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg whereas the extended release tablets do not come in 0.25mg dosage. As with most psychotropic drugs, the doctor will start with a lower dose and increase slowly to avoid side effects.For Generalized Anxiety Disorder the usual dose is 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg three times daily and for panic disorders, higher doses are prescribed (10mg per day max). However, patients who are receiving doses higher than 4mg per day are required to periodically reassess treatment and consider a reduction of dosage due to certain nasty side effects from long term use. Abrupt discontinuation (cold turkey) is a very bad idea due to overwhelming withdrawal symptoms so systematic discontinuation is advised.


As with other psychotropic medications, Xanax is not recommended for those suffering from depression due to suicidal ideations. Panic disorders are frequently associated with primary and secondary major depressive disorders so it is wise to give them Xanax but under a close monitoring. You also have to inform your doctor if you have asthma, glaucoma (eye pressure), kidney or liver diseases, history of alcoholism and a history of substance addiction. Do not take Xanax with alcohol as it can increase the chance of getting side effects including dizziness and lightheadedness.

There are multiple reports of Xanax causing severe allergic reactions so if you have a history of allergy to any sedative or especially benzodiazepines it’s wise to inform the good doctor. If you are obese or have a BMI above 30 it might be hard for your body to breakdown Xanax causing it to accumulate in your body causing a toxic overdose. Same goes for those with liver diseases like cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis as the drug is broken down in the liver. There have been reports of death in patients with severe lung diseases shortly after the initiation of treatment withXanax so individuals with asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, lung cancer and fibrosis better avoid using the drug.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant it’s a must to tell your doctor (if the signs are not oblivious of course) as Xanax is a category D pregnancy drug. This means that research has shown Xanax can affect the developing fetus (teratogenicity) and is only given if the potential risk to the fetus outweighs the drug’s potential benefit to themother.Safety of Xanax in individuals below 18 years of age has not been studied so usually not prescribed.

Side Effects

The most immediate side effect is an allergy to Alprazolam which necessitates swift medical care. They are thedevelopment of rashes, hives, difficultyin breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat etc. However most reported side effects are less severe and include blurred vision, headache,upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea. But Xanax is not without severe life-threatening side effects. A few of them are chest pain, pounding heartbeats (palpitations), respiratory depression (slowed breathing as commanded by the brain), suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, and tremors. Xanax reacts notoriously with alcohol which multiplies the drug’s effects. Consuming the herb ‘kava’ can result in the development of a coma so be careful.

Using Xanax For The Treatment Of Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a condition that causes panic attacks, which are sudden feelings of fear when there is no actual danger. It can make you feel you are no longer in control of your mind. This dreadful condition is also associated with a number of physical systems owing to the activation of stress hormones eliciting a fight or flight response. Associated physical symptoms are sweating, feeling hot or a cold, rapid heartbeat and chest or stomach pain. Alprazolam, the active ingredient in Xanax is found to be effective in handling moderate to severe anxiety and panic attacks. It boosts the activity of a chemical called gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that slows the neuronal firings associated with panic. A study that was done by Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire using 29 patients found daily use of a mean dose of 5mg can drastically suppress the ‘avoiding’ behavior in patients. As an example, if you are having ‘agoraphobia’ (fear of open spaces) after taking a Xanax you will be able to go to the market without much mental effort.

Can You Order Xanax Online?

Yes it is possible and cheaper too. However as Xanax is a scheduled controlled drug it is not legal. But still many individuals are ordering and getting the drug online as the law enforcers rarely pursue such cases. Nonetheless, the market is flooded with counterfeit drugs which can seriously harm you. Therefore it is highly vital to take Xanax in the authentic formulation from a reputable seller/online pharmacy to avoid such complications. Also if you haven’t taken Xanax before be extremely cautious due to the possibility of developing an allergy.

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